1 Nov 2010
It is getting time to set sail again for a new year. I did not actually complete the final leg of the 2010 trip on the blog, lazy and tired. So we spent our time in Rhodes and after being beat around a few nights by winds and surges into the harbor we were actually glad to leave. The best part was that we were able to bring our anchor up without the need for a diver. Quite common in the marina since anchoring is about the only option when berthing back against the quay. This place is so congested that crossed anchor rodes are quite common.
Anyway recovered all 45 meters of chain without an issue and motored out to Turkey. Did pick up some winds and were able to sail most of the way over to Marmaris. Marmaris is a town northeast of Rhodes that is in a well protected harbor, large one in fact. Once inside the harbor area we headed to the Netsel Marina where we had a reservation for the night. Netsel Marina is a very tight and congested place. The marina staff met us with a dingy and guided us toward our berth. I chose to back down the tight passage between quays and was glad I did. The bow lines from the boats on each side effectively gave a very narrow path, one that was not deep enough for our deep keel. Of course we snagged a few lines but we were going so slow we were able to head back forward and tell the staff to give us another berth. They did and all worked out.
We arranged for an agent to assist with the entry formalities into Turkey. He did a great job and dealt with a few items that we would not have forethought about. The marina was fine for the night and we did take a little walk around town. Quite and change from Greece in that this was real marina, not a half finished town marina, with real mooring lines, electricity and water with people that knew what they were doing.
Waterfront in Marmaris. Gulet day trip boats abound
Nice tight and crowded marina
Next morning we were out and motored our way east to Göcek our winter berth. Along the way we passed a military (Navy) base that is off limits for yachts. We were entertained by the appearance of a smaller sized submarine departing and watched it submerge before us. They must know the area very well because there are so many rocky shoals and submerged islands that navigation must be tough once under water. I assume they were active on the sonar but I have no way of telling.
After six hours we arrived at Göcek. Quite an amazing area, many small coves, bays and clear water. Contrary to Greece the hill sides have trees. More rainfall than Greece and less of an historical demand for cutting all the trees down. The Marina is well maintained, probably one of the nicest we have visited. Dock hands met the boat and assisted with the bow line. Different than many, the line ends in a loop similar to a mooring buoy. A line is taken from the bow cleats though the loop to secure the bow. Reversing into the berth with the bow already attached is different but not difficult. Once close to the quay the stern lines are attached and the everything is tightened more than I ever had before. The reason is that the water is so deep (28 meters) that as much slack as possible must be taken out of the bow line to prevent the boat from pushing back onto the quay in the southeast winds.
Our winter berth. We are in the middle with the blue hull. Lines across to the outer dock to be secure for the winter storms.
Ourselves and one British couple are the only overwintering sail boaters in the marina of over 300 boats. However there is a very active ex-pat British, Dutch, Swiss, Belgium, etc community who retired or work here along this coast and keep activities going all year. Sailboat repairs and upgrades can easily be performed with the local talent but some items are hard to import.
In summary for 2010 we departed Ostia, Rome on 16 April 2010 and arrived in Göcek on 2 Nov, almost seven months on the boat and counting. We covered 2,699 nautical miles at an average speed of 5.8 knots. We visited 69 places for overnight or longer stays. Of those 40 were marinas or town quays. At 20 places we anchored and the remaining 9 we picked up mooring buoys. Weather wise we had typical Med motoring weather with not much real sailing. We did get to berth several times in 25-30 knot winds, not much fun.
Our strongest winds were 55 knots at a marina in Croatia. In Greece at anchor we had 50 knots and a partial lighting strike that knocked out the GPS. In Göcek this winter we had several 40+ knot winds and a highest gust at 50 knots.
Overall no real issues, except getting stuck on the bottom in Vieste Italy marina, muddy bottom though so no harm.
Loss of our dog in Italy was the worst time but he enjoyed the sail up till the minute he died. The best times are too many to list. Italy has fantastic food and a great attitude on life. Montenegro is stunning. Croatia is full of places to visit and great sailing (too many charter boats and cost are getting too high). Greece is beautiful and great sailing if you like strong winds. Turkey is great and we have just started to see the coastline.
More updates later.